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1982. Local only show. Note how only the date is listed, not even the month, let alone the year. There were so many gigs, amazing gigs, at the Backstage then...

Civil Death was one of Tucson's best hardcore bands 1982-84, fronted by Lenny Mello (thats his real last name, no shit). While most punks in the scene sported jeans and t-shirts, Lenny had the whole double mohawk, leather jacket, pegged jeans, tatoos thing going on. It wasnt bullshit, Lenny really walked the walk. He paid for it too, got his ass kicked regularly either by the police or by the violent drunk indians in the jail-cells they'd throw him into. Lenny was a genuinely sweet guy though, give you the shirt off his back, and most of all he had a sense of humor about the whole thing, an essential quality for all of life really. I was there when he broke an empty beer bottle over his head on videotape for some Pima Community College people doing a documentary, just to prove how "punk" he was. We were all laughing, poor Lenny was too, but he really was bleeding.

Lenny survived the ensuing years, from a stint in GG Allen's band to tough life on the street. I'm happy to inform that Lenny is a tatoo artist these days, working in a 4th Avenue shop that is, ironically, about 3 doors down from where the Backstage once stood.





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